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Top notch blasting action
This little known action/platform game from Virgin Interactive has a lot to recommend it for fans of side scrolling shooters like Metal Slug and Contra. With its unusual setting, pleasingly chunky sprites and pretty intense action, this is a neat slice of action heaven that is worth digging out. Agent Armstrong is a 1930s tough guy who takes down bad guys for a living. In this case, it's the much feared Syndicate which is the target of his aggression, a group of criminals with ambitions to bring their unique brand of mayhem to all corners of the globe. What this translates into in terms of gameplay is a series of 30 large scale levels that take Armstrong across four continents, blasting merry hell out of anyone who gets in his way, and which even see him venturing underwater. Rather than simple shooting action though, the missions here are objective based, with at least two per level, while they can also be tackled in a freeform manner, with some advancing the storyline and others merely proving to be Syndicate dead ends to fool you. Of course, no shooter would be complete without an array of powerups and weapons, and Agent Armstrong packs a pretty respectable arsenal, including grenades, proximity and remote mines, poison gas bombs and upgrades for the standard machine gun that turn it into a super-powered death dealer. This really is a great little blaster that deserves wider recognition than it has received. Visually, the game is highly striking, with its pseudo 3D environments being packed with detail and lush colours and proving immensely fun to explore. The shooting action is everything you could hope for, being fast and furious, and with the controls being fluid and responsive. If you love the Metal Slug series, you'll get a kick out of this.